When Death Comes Without Dignity

Does anyone want to imagine being 90 years old, alone at night in a nursing home, struggling to get to the bathroom when no one is around to help......

When Death Comes Without Dignity | Alzheimer's Reading Room

Previously I wrote -- Which Drugs Increase the Risk of Falling for the Elderly

A few hours later an email with a link to an article popped into my box. The email was from Laurry Harmon (tip of the hat to Laurry).

It turned out that the StarTribune.com was running a series on a troubling pattern in nursing homes -- deaths related to falling. The investigative reporter, Glenn Howatt, was startled when he learned that more than 1,000 deaths were related to falls in Minnesota nursing homes over a six year period.

My uncle actually died from a fall in the hospital when they put him on the toilet and forgot about him. He tried to get up on own, fell, and died of a head injury.

Before writing the article
Howatt, along with reporter Pam Louwagie and their editor, Kate Parry, spent several months tracking down the families of those who had died from falls, exploring the conditions that led to an individual death, and talking to nursing homes in the hopes of explaining why so many of the elderly die in such a painful manner.

The StarTribune ran a series of articles about nursing homes. Follow the link to read more on

When death comes without dignity (note these articles are no longer available).

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room .

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room